Parents can quickly become concerned and overprotective, especially with their first child. The fear of doing something wrong is great. In certain areas it is important to obtain extensive information and to adhere to certain “rules”. For other problems, it’s better to listen to your gut feeling. We answer the most important questions about the use of water  in baby food. So that you know when to listen to your intuition and when it is better not to.


Can i use tap water?

Basically, this question can be answered with a clear yes. The tap water  in Austria is principally of high quality and is more strictly controlled than mineral water. The controlled limit values are based on adults. If you are unsure whether the quality is also suitable for babies, you can easily ask the waterworks. This is a little more difficult with a domestic well. Here is a water test  advisable, which is geared precisely to the needs of babies and toddlers.

However, the last few meters, i.e. the water pipes in the house, are decisive for the water quality. The water supplier cannot guarantee this. In some old houses these days there are still lead pipes, if the water comes out of them, it is definitely not suitable for baby food. Copper tubing can also be problematic. You should be careful here with new buildings, as relatively much copper is released into the water through the pipes in the first three years. In case of doubt, a water test saves you unpleasant surprises or lugging around with purchased water.

In principle, always let the water run off first. If it has been in the pipe for a long time, we speak of so-called stagnation water, which absorbs many substances from the pipe and sometimes also has a higher number of germs. Even if the tap has not been turned on for an hour, standing water is already unsuitable. Let it drain until it is evenly cool. Usually it takes between two and five liters. Whether tap water has to be boiled before use is controversial. Some doctors recommend boiling the water during the baby’s first six months of life. Others believe that it promotes allergies. 


Our water at home is very hard. Will that harm my child?

Lime looks unsavory when it is in the kettle  deposits. But don’t worry: the white coating consists of the minerals calcium and magnesium, which pose no danger to the human organism. In principle, they are even healthy. However, in the small amount in which they occur in our drinking water, this has hardly any effect on the human body.

However, the body of babies can sometimes not handle the minerals that well. Hard water can therefore lead to gas and constipation in sensitive children. When preparing bottles, some parents also have bad experiences with hard water. The milk powder does not dissolve well in it. This is why some parents soften their water. But be careful with filter jugs  required: These germinate very quickly and can thus burden babies much more than the unfiltered water.


Should my baby drink water in addition to breast milk or a bottle?

Babies who are breastfed or who are given milk mixed with powder do not need additional fluids. As soon as complementary food is started, it makes sense to offer the child a drink. But don’t despair if he doesn’t want to drink at first. As long as you still feed it predominantly with milk, no further liquid is required. Only when the baby is given more porridge or complementary food than milk should it drink more.

Even in hot summers, no additional drinking is necessary at the beginning. If it is really very hot, simply offer the child the breast or the bottle more often. A bad idea is to dilute baby formula with water. The powder should always be mixed with water exactly as specified, as it is perfectly adapted to the needs of the baby. Sometimes there are still doubts as to whether the child is drinking enough fluids. If the diaper is wet three times a day, there is no reason for such doubt.


What should my child drink with complementary food?

The following applies to the first drinks in baby’s life: the more natural, the better. If your tap water is suitable for babies, it is perfect as a drink. When buying water, you should pay attention to the values for nitrate and sodium. Nitrate should contain a maximum of 10 milligrams per liter, sodium 20 milligrams. The values for sodium in particular are often far higher, as there are no limit values for this in mineral waters. Carbonated water is also unsuitable. The acid can cause flatulence or attack the enamel of the first few teeth.

Some parents like to use special baby teas as a drink. Here it is important to pay attention to natural ingredients and not to sweeten the tea. Some teas are more likely to be considered medicinal products due to their ingredients. It is best to ask your pediatrician which tea he recommends. Caffeinated drinks such as black tea or cola are definitely not suitable for the little ones. Lemonades are also taboo due to their sugar content and carbon dioxide. Fruit juices, on the other hand, are fine when diluted. But they should rather be an exception. If the child drinks sugary drinks from an early age, this can lead to tooth decay even before the first teeth break through.

We use 130 liters of water every day. If you include the so-called virtual water in the bill, you get thirty times as much.

There is no life without water. All living beings known to us consist to a large extent of it. Water ensures the exchange of cells with each other and thus ensures all vital processes. The element also plays an important role in the human body. Water is our “main component” – quantitatively the most important inorganic part of our body.


The proportion of water in the human body

We learn from childhood that we humans are largely made up of water. But how high is the percentage actually? The information on this in the literature varies widely. This is because the water content is related to several factors. The higher the body fat percentage, the less water there is in the body. Conversely, muscle mass consists of a lot of water – in competitive athletes the water content is therefore increased by around 5%. This means that the proportion of water in men is higher than in women, since the female body naturally consists of more fatty tissue. Age also plays a role. Over the years we increasingly dry out, leaving a toddler  consists of far more water than an old person.

How much water is in the human body can only be roughly said. In the case of small children, the proportion is over 70%. A grown man is about 60% water, a woman about 50%. With increasing age, these values drop to below 50%. If you take a man weighing 80 kilos as an example, this consists of around 50 liters of water. That’s 50 kilograms, after all! In extreme situations, the body shows us how vital this water is. Anyone who loses 15% of their body weight in water dies. Our example man, who weighs 80 kilos, does not survive a loss of 12 liters of water.


What we need the water for

So water is essential for humans. It is a good solvent and means of transport and is therefore responsible for the exchange of substances. Like with blood. Probably the most important body fluid consists of 85 to 95% water. The brain is also similarly “liquid” – it has a water content of between 85 and 90%. About 80% of the kidneys, lungs and liver are built up by water. After all, three quarters of the heart and all muscles are made up of water.

The human body cannot store water. In order to maintain the vital functions, fluids must be consumed constantly. If the fluid balance in the body does not fit, this manifests itself, for example, in reduced ability to concentrate, headache and stomach ache and dizziness. Too little water increases the level of toxins in the body fluids. The body then takes some of the water from the blood. As a result, the blood becomes thicker and it becomes more strenuous for the heart to pump it through the body. The result is circulatory problems or, in the long term, serious illnesses such as kidney stones or thrombosis. Enough water prevents it from drying out.


Drink lots of water – but how much?

A lack of water occurs because the body constantly excretes fluids. For example through sweating or urine. If it is particularly hot in summer, if we do physical activity or if we eat very salty food, the need for fluids increases. Opinions are divided about how much should be drunk every day. A blanket value makes little sense anyway.

The human body needs about two to three liters of fluid  during the day. We take in part of it through our food. The body can also supply itself to a small extent with water, namely as a “waste product” in some processes. Most of the water required, however, has to be taken up by drinks. Healthy people should drink at least one and a half to two liters of water daily. Another calculation method stipulates that 0.03 liters should be drunk per kilogram of body weight. For our example adult with 80 kilograms that would be 2.4 liters per day. Exercise, physical exertion and a lot of sweating increase this value.

Tap water is ideal for keeping our body hydrated. In Europe it is usually of the highest drinking water quality. However, many areas have to deal with hard water. Even if this is not harmful to health, many people simply do not taste that good, especially when preparing coffee or tea there are compromises in taste. Treatment of the tap water can help.


What our thirst tells us

Many find it difficult to adhere to “drinking rules”. Two liters a day is especially a lot when you are not thirsty and you have to force yourself to sip on the water glass. One often hears that it is already “too late” when the thirst announces itself. The body is already really drying out. However, the counter-argument to constant drinking also sounds plausible: Thirst is made to tell people when to drink. As is so often the case, the middle ground is the right one. In principle, it is by no means bad to listen to one’s feeling of thirst – what else would we have it for? However, if you only drink when you are really thirsty, you will not provide your body with enough fluids in the long run. However, if you move around a little and it is not particularly warm, the body may need less fluid than the drinking recommendation says.

But some people don’t really feel thirsty. These are mostly the chronically ill, old people and children. Older people often also need less fluid, so this is not necessarily a problem. If you feel concerned, you should clarify the right amount to drink with a doctor.

In some people, water intake through food is also very high. Those who like to nibble several pieces of watermelon as dessert are not particularly thirsty afterwards. If large amounts of fruit and vegetables that contain water are consumed, sometimes just one liter of water per day can be sufficient. It is encouraging for many that coffee that has been drunk can also be included in the frequent drink bill. Coffee does not remove as much water from the body as it has long been assumed.


The other end of the spectrum – too much water

Drinking large amounts of water when you are thirsty can also be harmful. That’s why it is sometimes really difficult. The brain then tries to curb the swallowing reflex. Under normal conditions, a little too much water has no negative consequences. The opposite of a water shortage is water poisoning. There are isolated cases in which marathon runners have died because they strictly adhered to the drinking rules. Too much drinking in such extreme situations can lower sodium levels to threatening levels. However, doctors see no such risks in recreational athletes. If the kidney is healthy and functioning normally, problems from too much water are unlikely.

Our skin is our largest organ. It regulates body temperature and defends us against bacteria and viruses. She comes with water every day  in contact – when washing hands, showering and cleaning the apartment. Perhaps your skin has already seemed completely different to you on vacation. It may be tense, flaky, or red. Perhaps you have noticed improvements and have been able to do without moisturizers and the like. Why is that so? The answer lies in the hardness of the water.


What does hard water mean for personal hygiene?

Hard or chalky water has a high mineral content. The minerals calcium and magnesium are responsible for the hardness of the water  are responsible. These additives are healthy to drink. If you have hard water at home, you will certainly be annoyed by calcified surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen. Lime not only looks unsavory, it can even seriously damage appliances such as coffee machines or irons. How calcareous the drinking water  is different from place to place. Test in our water category  learn how to find out water hardness.

Just as minerals are deposited in the kettle or on the bathroom tiles, they can also remain on the skin. Some people don’t even notice the difference between soft and hard water, others react very strongly to it. In general, problems are less common with soft water. Since it contains only a few minerals, it feels softer on the skin. In principle, however, hard water is not unhealthy.


Calcareous water and our skin: these problems exist

While every skin reacts differently, there are a few typical effects of hard water. If the skin is not used to the calcium, it is usually tight and itchy. You may have had such experiences while on vacation or after moving. Soap consumption also increases with hard water. The minerals in the water combine with the cleaning agents in the shower gel or shampoo and partially neutralize it. You can tell by the fact that it no longer foams as well. So we automatically need more to get skin and hair clean.

Our skin has a protective barrier. It has a moisturizing effect and is intended to prevent drying out. The minerals in hard water attack this barrier and cause many people to have dry skin problems. At the same time, the lime can be to blame for skin impurities. Minerals and product residues clog the pores, resulting in blackheads and pimples.


Study shows: lime promotes eczema

Children’s skin is particularly sensitive. A study by scientists at Nottingham University found that there is a direct link between calcium and eczema. Medical water softeners have been installed in the household of children with neurodermatitis. After a few weeks it could be observed that this significantly alleviated eczema. Medicines are not always necessary to alleviate skin diseases.

Other studies also come to the conclusion that atopic dermatitis occurs more often in regions with hard water. All you have to do is ask at the pharmacy. Far more eczema products are sold in areas with hard water. Researchers see a direct connection here.


Solutions against limescale – bring a feeling of wellness into your bathroom

If your skin feels as calcified as the walls of your shower look, a water softener is the only reliable solution. Such devices are available in a wide variety of designs. You can choose a softener that is only installed in the shower, or you can buy a system for the entire house.

Certain care products can also help. Special creams fight itching and dryness. If you have problems with acne or dry facial skin, cleansing water may help. They cleanse the skin sufficiently that you don’t have to put tap water on your skin. Alternatively, washing your face with filtered or distilled water may help. If problems occur mainly on vacation, it makes sense to wash your face with water from a bottle that is low in mineral content.

If you do decide to switch to softened or filtered water, you will notice some changes. The skin will sometimes feel a little “greasy” after washing. Don’t worry, this is normal and your skin will get really clean too. You only feel – probably for the first time – the natural skin barrier! To make sure that your skin problem is really related to the tap water, it is best to ask a doctor. Dermatologists can give you reliable tips for your personal situation.

Small test tubes, white lab coats, and a sterile atmosphere. Do you have such a picture in your head when you hear “water test”? Analysis in the laboratory is the most reliable way to test water. Even if there are now numerous do-it-yourself tests, these cannot replace a laboratory by a long way.


Reliable water analyzes from the laboratory

The main reason to have a water test done in the laboratory is probably reliability. A laboratory has professional equipment, trained staff and modern analysis methods. Self-tests cannot keep up with that. There are also some parameters that can only be precisely determined in the laboratory. This includes mercury, for example, but even with bacteria, an accurate assessment of the situation is only possible with a laboratory test. Some self-tests show whether there are Coli bacteria or Legionella in the water, for example, but they cannot determine the number of bacteria. In order to be able to make a meaningful assessment of the health risk, a laboratory test is required after such a test.

In principle there are two ways of implementation. Either you take the sample yourself, or an employee of the test institute will come over to you. Sampling by the institute is more likely to occur when checking house wells. Such analyzes are in no way inferior to studies by large water supply companies in terms of quality. But even if you take the sample yourself, you can count on exact results – at least as long as you follow the instructions.

A great advantage of a laboratory test is that you get a consumer-friendly description of the results. In contrast to this, the color scale or color changes are often difficult to interpret in self-tests. You will not be left alone either: If you have any questions, there is a hotline or an email address that you can contact. So you will definitely understand your test result.


Indispensable: it is essential to have the water from the house well tested in the laboratory

A tenth of the population supplies themselves with water from a domestic well. Of course, this has many advantages, but it also entails a certain responsibility – you are solely responsible for checking the water quality. The recommendation is to have your own well examined extensively at least once a year. Impurities are not necessarily noticeable. Studies have found that almost half of home wells are of no drinking water quality. Only those who conscientiously have the water examined in the laboratory can play it safe. After all, bacteria, foreign substances and impurities have no place in drinking water!


Quality has its price

If you want a comprehensive analysis of your tap water, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. At least if you compare the prices with those of self-tests. The prices for laboratory analyzes start at around 50 euros. If you want a comprehensive analysis of your water, you should expect at least 150 euros. In addition, there may be postage fees for transporting the water sample to the laboratory.

Once the sample has arrived in the laboratory, it is important to be patient. It will take a few weeks before you get an evaluation. With a self-test, however, you will see a result after a few minutes. Nevertheless, the laboratory test is also subject to possible inaccuracies – for example if something goes wrong during transport. Fluctuations are much less likely than with self-tests.


Laboratory tests for legal matters

Lead in drinking water – a horror idea. According to Aqua Quality Austria (AQA), more than 20% of the water samples exceeded the limit values for lead and nickel. There are still a lot of lead pipes, especially in Vienna, and they are generally a big problem in old buildings. A legal question arises here. In principle, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that apartments do not pose a health risk. In Germany, pipes have to be replaced if they exceed a limit value. If you want to prove this with a water test, only laboratory tests will be accepted. But be sure to pay attention to the information on the seller’s website! Some explicitly state that their tests cannot be used in legal matters.

In Austria the legal situation is not so clear. In 2004, it was decided in one case that it is reasonable for the tenant to let the water run off for a minute in order to reduce the lead concentration. A new lead limit could tip that. Whether the landlord has to replace pipes is therefore not legally specified. But if you want to give it a try and put pressure on your landlord, be sure to carry out a laboratory test! You won’t get very far with a self-test.

As different as people are, so are hair and the right care. When choosing the right care product, one thing is often neglected: the water. Every tap water has a different composition. The water hardness, which indicates the lime content of the water, is primarily important for shampooing. Depending on the degree of hardness, there are a few “typical” reactions of the hair.


That makes hard water on your hair

Hard water contains a lot of dissolved calcium and magnesium. To drink  it is superb. The dissolved minerals are important for the body and give the water a good taste. However, hair can become rough and brittle from hard water. Lime can also cause a dry mane. Colored hair often does not last as long if washed with hard water. Some don’t like lime because it makes the hair look dull, others love it because the hair becomes more voluminous and easier to style.

The degree of water hardness also affects the shampoo. Hard water partially neutralizes the washing performance. So you need a lot more care products than with soft water. The shampoo foams little or no foam, but it can easily be washed out of the hair. When styling you can usually confidently do without mousse and hairspray. With thin hair, hard water can be beneficial.


How soft water affects hair care

In contrast to hard water, soft water contains little calcium and magnesium. Some find the taste rather sour, but there are hardly any problems with cleaning or with calcified appliances. Soft water also makes the hair soft. This is definitely an advantage for thick, unruly hair.

The shampoo lathers well, a small amount is enough to get the hair clean. It becomes problematic when rinsing out. It has to be rinsed for a long time and thoroughly until care products are completely gone. This usually leaves residues of shampoo, conditioner and treatment in the hair and weighs it down.

After washing with soft water, the hair usually has less volume. Many feel that hair also becomes greasy faster. This is sometimes due to the product residues that could not be completely rinsed out. Products are usually needed again for styling: mousse and hairspray are only the basic equipment.


Remedy for hard water

On the one hand, you can help yourself with special anti-limescale shampoos that remove mineral residues. These are available in normal drugstores as well as in specialist shops at hairdressers.

Many also swear by a homemade conditioner. To do this, mix two tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice with one liter of normal tap water. Use vinegar and lemon juice rather carefully, otherwise the acid they contain will quickly dry out the scalp and hair.

Another option is to rinse your hair with boiled or filtered water. Some also buy bottled water. However, care should be taken to ensure that it is mineral water with as little calcium and magnesium as possible. Otherwise, the problem may get worse.

A more practical alternative is to install a water softener  – so only soft water flows through your home. Purchasing such a device is a bit more expensive, but it pays for itself quickly. In addition to the hair, you will also thank the coffee maker and shower.


When the hair strikes in other places

Perhaps you have already noticed while on vacation that your hair reacts very differently to normal care. The decisive factor is the unusual hardness of the water. The bad news is that the hair usually does not adapt or only slightly to the new water hardness. Are you moving and know that you will find a different water hardness in the new location? Then you may have to change your hair care routine. Before you experiment for a long time and possibly strain your hair, it is better to ask the hairdresser. There you will receive professional help.

PURAMIDA has numerous expert tips about our water ready for you. Get an overview of the area of descaling water here.

You probably know it – the little red descaling symbol on the coffee machine. It often flashes for weeks until you eventually take your time, buy decalcifier and look for the instructions for use. If you descale regularly, you protect your device. If the pipes are calcified, the water flows through more slowly and is not heated up as quickly. The coffee machine needs more energy, is louder and can potentially result in high repair costs. Many manufacturers also state that the guarantee is void if you do not descale your coffee machine regularly.


Four hundred cups of coffee – or a thousand?

How often the coffee machine needs to be descaled is not that easy to say. Some manufacturers state that the descaling symbol starts to light up after four hundred cups, with others it only flashes after a thousand. So these are only rough approximations. In truth, it depends on how hard the water is  together, hard water must be descaled more often than soft water. If you use softening technology in your household, it will save you a lot of work. The descaling symbol is a good reference point. If you stick to it, you will at least regularly descale.

Another rule of thumb is to descale the coffee machine two to four times a year. Your own coffee consumption can also be used as a guide. With average water hardness and two cups a day, you should descale every six months, with eight cups or more every two months. But you may also notice yourself when it is time to descale. A dull taste, a cup that is less full or the coffee is less hot can be signs of limescale build-up inside the machine. With filter coffee machines and older models without a descaling symbol, you have to rely on such assessments anyway.


Chemical descaler and descaling with home remedies

An acid is required for descaling. Whether this is in a chemical product from the supermarket or you are using a home remedy  use does not matter in principle. Most coffee machine manufacturers recommend a specific product that they have tested their equipment with and that they can guarantee. But that doesn’t mean that any other remedy is bad for the coffee maker. Universal descaler often have the same ingredients as more expensive branded products. It is important to observe the correct mixing ratio according to the manufacturer.

Make the descaler yourself

If you want, you can make a chemical descaler yourself. Many branded products work with sulfamic acid, which can be ordered online in large containers. You should be careful with the dosage – if the coffee machine heats the descaling solution, it must not be too concentrated. Otherwise it can lead to failures, which means that acid crystals settle inside. The heat intensifies the effect of the acid so that it decalcifies effectively even in low concentrations. The following mixing ratio should not be exceeded:

  • Hot decalcification: 15 grams of sulfamic acid per liter of water
  • Cold decalcification: 100 grams of sulfamic acid per liter of water

Home remedies only at your own risk

Home remedies are often used for descaling. What about the kettle  works well, but doesn’t necessarily fit the coffee maker. Machine manufacturers advise against using vinegar, for example, as it can damage the rubber seals in the devices. It can also remain in the coffee’s taste. Citric acid is not necessarily suitable for descaling the coffee machine. If the acid is heated, it combines with lime and can form even more stubborn deposits. You can have success with it, but at your own risk. One cup of vinegar is mixed with two cups of water; for citric acid, one tablespoon is added to the full water tank. Some swear by dissolving a denture cleaner tablet, an aspirin or a packet of baking powder in a full water tank and running the descaling program with it. This can definitely work for less stubborn calcifications.


Descaling the coffee machine – this is how it works

The first thing to do is to clarify whether the coffee machine has its own descaling program. This is the case with most espresso machines and fully automatic coffee machines; modern filter coffee machines usually also have such a program.

These notes are very general because every coffee maker is different. We have summarized some special features of the individual manufacturers. Perhaps they can help you, otherwise you will also find links to the manufacturer’s pages.


Descale the Senseo coffee machine

Philips, the manufacturer of Senseo, recommends descaling at least once every three months. After four hundred cups of coffee, the descaling light with the inscription “CALC” starts to glow. When the coffee is just lukewarm, the cup is not as full as usual or the finished drink has no foam, it is time to descale. You can find detailed videos on descaling the individual models here on the Philips page .


Descale the Dolce Gusto coffee machine

According to the manufacturer, a Dolce Gusto coffee machine should be descaled twice a year. With most models, you can switch to descaling mode by pressing and holding the power button for five seconds. The maximum must be selected for the dosage, then either hot or cold can be decalcified as desired by pressing the corresponding button. The manufacturer also offers video instructions on the own page .


 Descale the Tassimo coffee machine

A red descaling LED also lights up on Tassimo coffee machines when the machine thinks that a lot of limescale has already deposited. A special decalcifying disc is required for descaling. This is a small, yellow or orange disc that comes with the coffee maker. You can usually find this behind the water tank.  The cleaning disc is inserted like a normal coffee disc; only then can the process be started. To do this, keep the start button pressed for a few seconds. On the Tassimo page you can choose your model and find a detailed description.


Descale the Nespresso coffee machine

Nespresso recommends descaling the coffee machine at least twice a year. Almost all models draw attention to the upcoming decalcification anyway. Before starting the process, all capsules must be removed and the decalcifying liquid added. You can switch to descaling mode by pressing and holding the buttons for the coffee size at the same time. Some models have two such buttons, some three. Start the process by pressing the Lungo button. To return to normal mode after the process, simply press and hold the coffee size buttons again for a few seconds. You can find detailed information on this directly at Nespresso .


Descale the Cafissimo coffee machine

Cafissimo coffee machines also have a descaling lamp that draws attention to itself at regular intervals. Depending on the model, there are different options for entering the descaling mode. To do this, either the top and middle coffee type buttons or the steam button and the ON button together or the caffe crema button are held down. You can find a detailed video description of your model on Tchibo blog .


Descale the Delonghi coffee machine

A red LED lights up on Delonghi when it is time to descale. In principle, this works via the frothing nozzle. The descaling liquid is added, the descaling mode is selected and the steam knob is fully opened. The program then runs by itself. Anyone who has misplaced their operating instructions and no longer remembers how to get into the descaling mode can find all the information on here Delonghi coffee machines .

Whether kettle,  coffee machine  or iron. Household appliances that work with water will sooner or later want to be descaled. Some chemical agents are available commercially for this. As is so often the case, the tried and tested home remedies of the mother or grandmother do the same. The secret to getting rid of limescale is quickly revealed – all you need is an acid. Most lime cleaners work with acids that you may already have in your kitchen cupboard at home and that are definitely worth trying to decalcify.


Why should you (not) use home remedies?

There are of course some advantages and disadvantages to using home remedies. If you do not use chemical decalcifying agents, it protects the environment. Most home remedies are more easily biodegradable as they do not contain any additional fragrances or detergents. Home remedies are cheaper compared to conventional descaler. Savings are particularly noticeable with very hard water, as the limescale has to be removed much more often. However, you may pay dearly for these savings later. Many manufacturers of equipment such as coffee machines recommend a specific descaler that they have tested their equipment with. The use of other means often invalidates the guarantee. Descaling with home remedies is always at your own risk.

The problem with home remedies is that the correct dosage cannot be clearly stated. Chemical decalcifying agents indicate exactly in what proportion the product has to be mixed with water, with home remedies it is usually “learning by doing”. A slow approach to the correct dosage is advisable. It is easy to find some instructions on the Internet. If you have no problem with math, you can try to adjust the mixing ratio to chemical descaler. Commercially available agents usually have an acid content of around 15% and are mixed with one or two parts of water, depending on the degree of calcification. The solution that ends up in kettles etc. has between 5 and 7.5% acid. This corresponds roughly to the acidity of an ordinary lemon. However, chemical agents descale more effectively, so that the acid concentration of the home remedies must probably be above this value.


Which home remedies are suitable for descaling?

Depending on the desired application and device, different home remedies are differently suitable.

citric acid

One of the most popular means of descaling is citric acid. It leaves a pleasant smell, but no annoying aftertaste. It must be noted that the acid is only suitable for cold decalcification. If it is heated to 40 ° C or higher, it can combine with the lime and form calcium citrate. This mixture is even more difficult to dissolve than lime and, in the worst case, can seriously damage equipment.

acetic acid

Acetic acid works effectively, the concentrated vinegar essence is even stronger. But the effectiveness also has its disadvantage – coffee machines should not be descaled with vinegar, as the acid can attack sensitive hoses and rubber seals. The intense smell is annoying, and vinegar can also remain in taste. Caution is also advised with the vapors, they should not be inhaled.

baking powder

The all-round talent from the kitchen also removes lime. Baking powder has the positive property that it does not attack chrome and is therefore ideally suited for cleaning calcified chrome fittings. Incidentally, when heated, it foams very strongly, so you should use it sparingly.

Denture cleaner or aspirin

Acid is also found in denture cleaners or aspirin. If you dissolve a tablet in water, the mixture is ideal for descaling. However, some denture cleaners contain flavorings such as mint, which can be difficult to get out of the device.


The popular drink contains phosphoric acid. Cola is primarily suitable for cold decalcification. If it is boiled in a kettle, for example, the sugar it contains can burn in. Since the acid is weaker than in other home remedies, it is not bad to let Cola soak in overnight.

Baking soda

Soda cannot be seen as a classic descaler. This is because it is not an acid, existing limescale deposits cannot be removed with it. But if you add baking soda to the water, it has a softening effect and can prevent limescale deposits. This can also improve the taste of tea and coffee. A tip of a knife every time in the full kettle or the tank of the coffee machine should be enough.

Amidosulfonic acid

This “home remedy” sounds very chemical. In principle, it is not a home remedy, as it is the active ingredient of most chemical descaler. But many swear by ordering the acid in bulk packs on the Internet and using it to mix a decalcifier themselves. That can be cheaper than buying conventional descaler. But it is not an environmentally friendly alternative.


How do I use home remedies correctly?

With strong acids such as acetic acid or citric acid, caution should be exercised when decalcifying. Wear gloves and be careful not to come into contact with the acid. If you heat the acid, you must not inhale the resulting vapors. Under no circumstances should children handle the descaling agents.

Home remedies can also be used wherever a descaler or detergent against limescale is usually used. Nevertheless, there are a few things to consider with the individual devices.

To a washing machine  To descale, the machine can be run without washing with the descaler solution. If the faucet has calcified, it works well to simply fill a balloon or condom with the solution. Placed over the tap, the home remedy can work well and the lime is dissolved. Parts that can be removed – like a shower head – are best placed in a bath with the descaler. Of course, this also works with larger components such as a removable boiler basin or toilet cistern. It is important to rinse or rinse everything well after descaling.

As already mentioned, you have to slowly approach the right dosage for home remedies. Better to start with a low dose and increase if necessary. Incidentally, you can use a decalcifying solution that has already been used again without any problems. After a descaling process, the acid is usually not yet saturated and can dissolve further lime.

“Water must be suitable to be drunk or used without endangering human health.” This is what Paragraph three of the Austrian Drinking Water Ordinance says. In 2010, the United Nations anchored access to clean water as a human right. Water is our livelihood. As food  It provides us with important minerals, but contaminated drinking water can cause diseases and is a major problem in some parts of the world. Caution should be exercised when dealing with our most important resource.


Legal requirements for drinking water

What drinking water is is defined in the Food Safety and Consumer Protection Act (LMSVG) and in the Drinking Water Ordinance (TWV). It must be clear, cool and tasteless and must not contain any pathogens that cause illness. The water that flows out of the tap in Austria meets these criteria. But this is not the case everywhere in Europe – in Spain, for example, tap water is not suitable for consumption in some areas. There are significant differences in the origin of the water. Because drinking water can be obtained in different ways.

Groundwater, surface water, rainwater or seawater is the basis for drinking water. Groundwater is mostly used in Austria. So that the quality of the water can be maintained, all supply systems must carry out an inspection at least once a year. The following parameters are tested:

  • nitrate
  • Pesticides
  • pH value (hydrogen ion concentration)
  • Total hardness
  • Carbonate hardness
  • potassium
  • Calcium
  • magnesium
  • sodium
  • chloride
  • sulfate

The results of these checks must be communicated to the customers. The information can usually be found on the water bill, but often also in the local newspaper. The drinking water database is an alternative. Here you can inquire about the measured values for your community online. If limit values are exceeded, this must be communicated to the consumer anyway. Measured values are always only snapshots – if everything fits today with the measurement, it can look completely different tomorrow. You can also do a water test yourself between measurements by the community  carry out. This provides a remedy for concerns about water quality. Of course, this also provides a snapshot, only regular checks can ensure the water quality in the long term.


Quality through the right preparation

If water is taken from bodies of water for drinking water use, it is called raw water. If this is not of the right quality, it must be processed. Some groundwater is filtered so well by mineral rock that it can be given to consumers in its pure form. Surface water, on the other hand, is always contaminated with microbes. It has to be processed and disinfected. So that the hygienic and health requirements of the Drinking Water Ordinance can be met, water usually has to be treated in some form. Most often, iron removal and manganese removal are used. Other common methods are:

  • Deacidification
  • Slow / fast filtration
  • Flocculation
  • Hardening
  • Adsorption with activated carbon or powder carbon
  • Dosing of corrosion inhibiting substances
  • oxidation
  • Membrane filtration
  • softening

The biggest problems are therefore foreign substances that have to be filtered out, as well as an unsuitable pH value. The pH value is in equilibrium with the hardness-forming substances calcium and magnesium. At the same time, alkaline water with an increased pH value is hard, while acidic water is soft. Many problems can arise in connection with this. Soft water attacks pipes, dissolves pollutants from them and accelerates the formation of rust. Hard water, on the other hand, can clog pipes and lead to the well-known limescale deposits on fittings and household appliances.


Be careful with domestic wells

In Austria around 90 percent of the population get their water centrally from the water suppliers. However, every tenth household has a house well. Anyone who purchases a plot of land also owns the groundwater underneath – there are no other requirements for a house well. Just as the central suppliers have to constantly check their water, so do home well owners. The recommendation of the Ministry of Health is to have a water analysis carried out at regular intervals. The checks should be carried out annually and be carried out by a qualified testing agency. Even if the water has not changed visually or in terms of taste, it can be dangerous.


Tap water is more convincing than mineral water

For fear of germs and pollutants in tap water, more and more consumers are turning to bottled mineral water. But it is a mistake to believe that this is healthier. Tap water is better controlled than mineral water, it has to be checked for more foreign substances. Some pollution cannot be excluded with mineral water, especially not germs. Neither tap nor bottled water has to be germ-free, but according to the ordinance, neither must contain any pathogens that cause disease.

It is worrying that many mineral waters are sold in plastic bottles. It becomes particularly problematic with sparkling water. In a test by the Austrian magazine “Konsument”, an increased content of acetaldehyde was found in 21 out of 25 mineral waters. This substance has a “fruity-aromatic” taste and was put on the list of substances suspected of having a carcinogenic effect by the EU. Analyzes have also shown that mineral water often contains fewer minerals than ordinary tap water. Bottled water is first and foremost successful marketing. You could simply bottle and sell water from your home well, it would be in no way inferior to most mineral waters in terms of quality.